UK biomass: Road map
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UK biomass: Road map

12 January 2022 By Sam Johnson - Assistant Category Buyer for Energy at YPO

Log truck

Within this blog, Sam from our Energy team provides an insight into the route to market our products undertake before arriving at your required destinations.

In my recent blogs, I have explored and highlighted the key areas of biomass supply, the route to market through our 1080 Renewable Biomass DPS and how it can support your net zero ambitions. I’ve investigated how our suppliers support and provide solutions to reduce carbon emissions through the use of both biomass wood pellets and chips, demonstrated the cycle of biomass production from renewable sourced materials, along with providing top tips on how we can prevent waste by storing the product accurately against industry standards.

Within this piece, I provide an insight into the route to market our products undertake before arriving at your required destinations.

Manufacturing

There are currently five main manufacturing sites in the UK producing nationally around 40-50% of the total premium pellets required by the current market. Translating this within the gas and electricity markets, this is currently equating to around 10% of the UK’s energy consumption. As net zero demands rise with the continuous innovation of ways to reduce carbon emissions, bioenergy use in Europe is increasing, having grown by 150% since 2000.

Many scenarios foresee massive additional growth in biomass use, with some showing a 70 -150% increase in biomass use for energy and materials by 2050. This would require an area the size of Germany (350–400 000km2) to be dedicated to energy crops alone.

I caught up with a couple of our onboarded biomass suppliers to ask how they and other supply chains within the industry are helping support this demand and how they are supporting the growth of UK forests:

Project woodland currently sits more than 150 hectors across England and Wales, in a large-scale reforestation project.” - New Forest Energy Ltd

“We offer corporate tree planting days to our customers, which in turn represent their own community programmes (CPD and CSR programmes). We also hold an annual biomass awareness day with the Environmental Studies Masters students at the University of Surrey to explore sustainable woodland management, offsetting, pests, diseases, and air quality project.” - LC Energy Ltd

Imports

Most UK premium pellet imports come from the Baltics or the Iberian Peninsula, with production in remote areas of Ukraine flowing through ports such as St Petersburg having been transported by train.

 UK map

(Photo provided by Neil Holland – Y Pellets Ltd)

Imports arrive in the UK at our main ports of Hull, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Bristol, Belfast, and Greenock and are manufactured using a methodology of for every one tonne of pellets produced, each plant will require estimates of two tonnes of virgin wood. Timber is roughly 50% moisture content, in comparison to pellets of less than 10%. This creates a significant market for local feedstock, most of which will be from trees unsuitable for wood mills – this will mostly consist of sawdust, off cuts, shavings, wood residues, roots, and stumps. For more information on how this feedstock is manufactured, please read this blog ‘Our biomass suppliers fuelling a greener future’.

 

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our new Renewable Biomass framework and how can YPO can help, please get in touch with the team!

 

Useful blogs:

The cycle of biomass energy

Four top tips to store your biomass

Our biomass suppliers fuelling a greener future

Categories: Environment , Energy , Frameworks

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